“Altar” Your Attitude: How to create an altar

10 comments

I have been busier than usual lately and haven’t been getting as many walks in as I would like. This is not good for me! Walks are my time to flush my system with endorphin, get some quiet time for myself, and keep myself healthy.

(Read What Our Body Needs and/or A Walk in the Morning Sets Your Whole Day Afire.)

Walks are good for the heart, soul, and mind. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for some peace and well-being in their lives. Especially through the winter, when our spirit longs to be outside and our body wants to refuse.

But there is sometimes we cannot get outside for this reflective, rejuvenating, and prayerful time.

An alter is a place to reflect

A daily place to be quiet, reflect, plan, pray, remember, find courage, listen, gather strength, make a commitment, and let go is invaluable in keeping the attitude in check. For me, this place is in the woods.

But on days I cannot go on my walk, I turn to a special shelf in my house that I use as an altar. It is a place I put trinkets that might remind me of my mission, or that hold a special memory, represent Spirit, beauty and nature. On my altar, I have a globe to remind me to care for the earth and pray for peace, heart shaped rocks to remind me to love first, a statue of a mother and child, small paper with inspirational quotes, other rocks reminding me to focus and have strength, photographs and names of people I am praying for, and small gifts given to me over the years.

Having an altar at home and one at work, I use them as a touchstone, either to mindfully stand in front of, or to get a jolt of positive energy when I glance over to it.

How to create an altar

Altars are easy to make, all you need is a shelf, dresser or small table. Even a corner of one will do. You don’t even have to go buy anything! You can find everything you need right around your house, even gathering somethings from outside like sticks, pinecones, stones or acorns.

Things to have on your altar:

1. Representation of Spirit, God, your higher self, Light and/or Unconditional Love.

2. Representation of your mission, purpose and commitments to help remind you of them.

3. Representation of people in your life who lift you up, help you see your goodness and potential, and love you sometimes even more than you do yourself.

4. Representations of appreciation, like thank you cards or small thank you gifts you’ve received, to remind you to be grateful even in the darkest times.

5. Reminders of your special gifts and talents that you’ll be using to carry our your mission, purpose, and commitments.

6. Items from nature.

7. Something you find incredibly beautiful to remind you of grace.

8. Anything that means something to you.

9. A candle.

My altar is my attitude check. It reminds me of what is important, what I love and who I want to be. And, it helps me unstick from my complaints and whining and gather determination for my journey. It rights my mind from negative to positive, and infuses me with energy. It helps me remember to breathe.

Altars are so easy to create, yet so powerful.

Have an altar or making one after reading this? Tell me about it or email me your photos and I’ll include them in the post (info (at) jodiaman.com).


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10 Comments

nikky44

I didn’t know that corner, “my corner” had a name. Sometimes its where i like to pray, sometimes just close my eyes in front of it and dream. I had it for long, it was a shelf in my closet. Last year, I needed my corner back, my friend made it for me in her bedroom. I have a photo of it. We prayed together there, we shared things, we found peace and smiles.:(

Kelly Hashway

Jodi, this is a great idea. It makes me wonder how many people keep an area with things just like this for inspiration and meditation without knowing they’ve created an alter. I know a few people who do this, and I’m going to have to ask them. (More like pass on your words of wisdom.)

Nancy

I don’t know if I have an altar as much as symbols throughout my home that remind me of what I value most: mementos from my travels, photos of loved ones and me in my happiest moments, inspirational quotes, flowers or plants . . . I do love the idea of creating a special place for meditation and quiet.

Thanks for your post, Jodi!

brenda

I don’t have an altar but I have a place in my house (my bedroom) and another in my mind where I go when when I need to slow down and catch up with myself, and reflect. Mostly I find peace from the white noise in my life when I free write and dump my thoughts. I do think having a place to retreat is more beneficial than people realize. Wonderful post, Jodi. It makes me appreciate my room even more.

Bella

Jodi, like you, I depend on my daily walks to keep me feeling refreshed and alert. As you know, Roxy and I got to the forest on a daily basis. I find the beauty of nature, during all seasons, energizes me and clears my head. These walks are also helpful to call out to my creative muse and spend time with the thoughts in my head. I don’t have an altar but my mother does. She calls it her “shrine.” On hers, she has photos of her loved ones, some who are alive, and others, like my father, have passed away. She also has white candles, fresh flowers, a rose quartz, her prayer beads, and other special keepsakes. My mom makes a point of having a space wherever she goes. If she travels to Spain, she has a special place there, and if she visits my sister, the same applies. She tells me it provides her with the perfect place to pray, meditate, and regain her mental strength. I shall share the content of your post with her the next time I call her! 🙂

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

That is awesome about your mother! I read about her in your posts and she sounds like a cool lady! Takes one to produce one!

Monica

I, too, enjoy taking my walks with my dog, Henry. And I too have been quite busy of late, with little time to take prolonged walks. Plus, my knee has been hurting. It’s just not the same without these walks. Sigh.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Ice the knee while you are staring out the window, or put your hand over your heart and stare within! The walks are in you, too!

Deidre (dee ed dra) lol

Jodi, being a “second generation” altar dweller, I SO enjoyed your fresh article. I have NEVER seen another writing about this..what a great idea and well written. I would love to send you a picture of mine. One suggestion I can add, because the rest is like you said and did, so personal, would be to add a small light. My brother, RIP, hand made a square piece of wood with a small hole in it. Underneath the hole he put one of those small lights like in a nightlight, with a cord for my mother’s altar. Not only did I inherit the light, I also inherited all of her prayer lists and her daily bible, so I cherish my altar. The day my brother died, the light went out. My mother was also born with a veil and it happened in front of both of us. I simply said, “um, the light went out”, my mom said, “your brother just passed over”. Very special moment…so I thank you for reminding me of this story and for letting others know that you do not have to be a religious nut to have your “altar”, it’s a personal space, made special by the special people who use them. My question would be, how do you keep all of the names in order? I have small pieces of paper all over the altar, where people have written down names and handed them to me. Any ideas how to keep it neat? lol

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Beautiful story! I love it! I’ll collect your photo by email and update the post with it! I keep a vase on my altar at work and a small box at home to put the small pieces of paper in. Then, if I am doing a fire ceremony or anything, I might burn the intentions to help shapeshift healing. Hope this helps!


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